09:01 | 09/02/2017 Society
(VEN) - At a year-end meeting held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to summarize 2016 and look ahead, representatives of ministries, sectors and businesses shared their views on how the industry and trade sector can develop further and contribute to enhancing the competitiveness of the Vietnamese economy.
Cao Duc Phat, Deputy Head of the Central Economic Committee:
Creating breakthroughs in industrial development
The MoIT needs to maintain tight coordination with the Central Economic Committee and ministries and sectors to draft a national industrial policy and submit it to the Politburo in the first quarter of this year. Appropriate measures should be taken to create breakthroughs in industrial development as a pillar of the Vietnamese economy, striving to turn Vietnam into an industrialized country in the near future.
Along with promoting in-depth development of industrial production to create highly competitive nationally recognized brands, greater attention should be paid to developing labor-intensive sectors in order to make the most of opportunities offered by the golden population structure.
In trade, along with safeguarding and developing the domestic market, special attention should be paid to promoting exports, especially of agricultural, forest and aquatic products.
Chu Ngoc Anh, Minister of Science and Technology:
Enhancing the effectiveness of scientific research and technology development
In recent years, the MoIT has boosted investment in scientific research and technology development. Many units of the industry and trade sector have become capable of manufacturing equipment for thermoelectric and hydroelectric plants. A number of scientific research projects have won sci-tech awards and research results have been applied successfully in practice. Major projects, such as Son La and Lai Chau Hydropower Plants, have been finished and put into operation.
Despite these encouraging results, the industry and trade sector still reveals two major limitations: limited competitiveness and low labor productivity. The sector needs to concentrate on surmounting these limitations. At the same time, the MoIT should make the most of opportunities offered by the Fourth Industrial Revolution in order to restructure and improve productivity. The Ministry of Science and Technology will continue to support the MoIT in these efforts.
Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, Minister of Health:
Further boosting the pharmaceutical industry
The coordination between the MoIT and the Ministry of Health in recent years has significantly contributed to the health sector’s fight against counterfeit medicines. The pharmaceutical industry has helped Vietnam become one of the few countries in the region capable of producing vaccines for humans. Currently, Vietnam is capable of producing 11 out of 12 vaccines used in its expanded program on immunization. Administrative reform efforts have facilitated the import of necessary materials for the pharmaceutical industry.
Vietnam is entering a period of industrialization and modernization, which requires the country to change its growth model and increase labor productivity. The role of the MoIT will therefore become increasingly important. The Ministry of Health hopes the MoIT will further develop support industries for the pharmaceutical sector so that domestically produced medicines, and especially vaccines, can take their place among major products of national significance.
Tran Thanh Nam, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development:
Joint efforts are required to cope with major challenges
This year, Vietnamese agricultural produce has to cope with three major challenges: product quality, price and technological advancement.
To respond to these challenges, the MoIT needs to maintain its tight coordination with the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Specifically, a suitable program is required to develop key agricultural products for brand building annually.
At the same time, it is necessary to build and develop value chains covering all stages from production to sale in order to boost domestic sales and exports; and accelerate mechanization and electrification of agricultural production, focusing on sectors with high export value, such as seafood, cashew, coffee, fruit and vegetables. Processing and post-harvest technologies should be improved to enhance product value.
Nguyen Quoc Khanh, Chairman of the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PVN) Member Council:
Annual goals surpassed in 2016 despite difficulties
2016 was a difficult year for the oil and gas sector. The average price of oil dropped to US$45 per barrel. Despite difficulties, PVN exceeded its assigned targets and significantly contributed to the state budget.
Specifically, oil extraction output reached 17.23 million tonnes, 1.19 million tonnes above the annual plan. Following the guidance of the prime minister, PVN extracted 15.2 million tonnes of crude oil domestically, against the assigned target of 14.02 million tonnes.
Gas extraction output reached 10.61 billion cu.m, 1 billion cu.m above the annual plan. In 2016, PVN generated 21.13 billion kWh of electricity for the national grid, exceeding the annual plan by 860 million kWh; produced 1.62 million tonnes of nitrogenous fertilizer, 40,000 tonnes above the annual plan. Notably, petrol and oil production reached 6.86 million tonnes, 1.17 million tonnes higher than the assigned plan.
Le Tien Truong, General Director of the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group:
Building value chains
This year, the Vietnamese textile and garment sector will continue to face difficulties due to competition with products of many other countries. Most major FTAs have yet to take effect. To achieve its annual growth target of 6.5-7 percent and export value of more than US$30 billion, the sector needs to mobilize joint efforts of businesses and state management authorities. Special attention should be paid to increasing productivity, reducing production costs and delivery time, along with strengthening distribution and logistics networks.
Domestic textile and garment businesses are increasing the local content of their products and promoting exports to Japan and the US, hoping to maintain a six-percent increase in exports to these two major markets in 2017, while at the same time striving to access other markets. Value chains will be built covering all stages from production to sale. Greater attention will be paid to enhancing energy efficiency and environmental protection.
Bang Hyunwoo, Deputy General Director of Samsung Vietnam:
FDI businesses expect policy improvements
To facilitate effective operations of businesses with foreign direct investment (FDI) and encourage their greater contributions to the Vietnamese economy, the government needs to put in place appropriate policies that allow FDI businesses to maintain global competitiveness. Vietnam should curb labor cost rises to maintain its competitive advantages against other countries.
The Vietnamese government needs to further invest in upgrading transport facilities along with simplifying administrative procedures, removing tariff and non-tariff barriers to exports, and enhancing the competitiveness of Vietnamese goods.